Frightening start for managers

WITH less than 25% of the season gone, almost 10% of the league's managers have already been sacked, which is quite frightening.It is Sod's Law that Tranmere and Orient both go and win the game after the manager is gone, so you have to look at the players and say 'Where were you when the manager was there?' Was he doing that much wrong that they could not do that little bit extra?It is sad but it shows the precariousness of being a manager.

WITH less than 25% of the season gone, almost 10% of the league's managers have already been sacked, which is quite frightening.

It is Sod's Law that Tranmere and Orient both go and win the game after the manager is gone, so you have to look at the players and say 'Where were you when the manager was there?' Was he doing that much wrong that they could not do that little bit extra?

It is sad but it shows the precariousness of being a manager.

My own personal experience at Manchester City shows things can change very, very quickly in football.


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It was less than two years ago when Lawrie Sanchez was being touted as a Premiership manager after Wycombe beat Leicester City and reached the semi-final of the FA Cup before losing to Liverpool. Now look at what has happened – he was sacked after his side lost to Tranmere on Tuesday.

If Peter Reid goes then that would be the 10% and again, he has inherited someone else's mess and has tried to tidy it up and take the club forward.

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I'm not just saying this because he is my mate. But he has not had the finance. He has had to sell players like Harry Kewell and bring in loan players, because that is all he can do.

It is a bit like ourselves – they can't afford to buy players and if a big offer came in for a player then they would have to see. If the right offer comes in for Mark Viduka in the next window, I'm sure they will have to sell him.

It is getting harder and a lot of clubs now want to asset-strip and continue to want the shares to rise in value, and that is hard.

It is also a shame to see the flak going in Sir Bobby Robson's direction at the moment. I love the man, as I know a lot of people in East Anglia do, and again there are only 10 games gone in the Premiership and no one expects Newcastle to still be down at the bottom come Christmas.

Often I say there are too many bookings in a game but on Tuesday I saw a game where there should have been more.

Some people will say it smacked of sour grapes to complain after our defeat at Sunderland, and perhaps it would have been more prudent not to say it, but I was disappointed at the lack of bookings in the game.

I will say again I don't want to see people sent off but equally in the old days of man management, the referee would have got hold of Kevin Kyle, given him 100 lines as it were and warned him of his future conduct and that would have killed it.

But referees don't have that leeway now and are told to referee to the letter of the law.

Yet I see foreign referees, like Pierluigi Collina, who don't have a problem with man management and seem to referee to a different set of rules.

They man manage, they have no problem with authority and have total respect for the players, yet some of our referees can't get through a game without five bookings.

But my biggest problem at the moment is with linesmen. They have less and less to do but find it harder and harder to do that. You will remember at Portman Road recently when everyone saw an elbow, including the fourth official and linesman, but did nothing about it.

ALTHOUGH my rugby knowledge is fleeting I'm very much a patriot and I want to see Clive Woodward's boys win the World Cup.

It is fantastic to see them have players like Jonny Wilkinson who I'm sure will come back household names.

I love to see England win at anything – cricket, football, rugby, the lot – and it will be wonderful to see the rugby lads come back winners.

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